Since the update, a certain style of formatting code is highlighted with font-lock-warning-face:

How do I turn off this behavior?

enter image description here

  • Could it be the theme? I was tweaking zop-to-char yesterday and I don't see that nil highlighted in font-lock-warning-face: My screenshot. I am also on 24.4. The difference I guess is that I am using zenburn theme. And it does highlight font-lock-warning-face at places I expect. Oct 31, 2014 at 13:15
  • It's reproducible with emacs -Q.
    – abo-abo
    Oct 31, 2014 at 13:18
  • I can confirm this does happen. I find it useful because it highlights that the return value is not what it seems.
    – Malabarba
    Oct 31, 2014 at 13:20
  • Strange.. why am I not seeing that even on emacs -Q? Screenshot. Again, I am also using emacs 24.4. Oct 31, 2014 at 13:27
  • @Malabarba, it highlights red because nil isn't on a new line. It's just a text formatting issue.
    – abo-abo
    Oct 31, 2014 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


There are two ways

Redefine lisp--match-hidden-arg:

(defun lisp--match-hidden-arg (limit) nil)

Remove lisp--match-hidden-arg from lisp-cl-font-lock-keywords-2 and lisp-el-font-lock-keywords-2

(setq lisp-el-font-lock-keywords-2
      (cl-delete 'lisp--match-hidden-arg lisp-el-font-lock-keywords-2
                 :key #'car))

Please Do NOT Do That!

The coding style detected by lisp--match-hidden-arg is not very readable.

"... a computer language is not just a way of getting a computer to perform operations, but rather ... it is a novel formal medium for expressing ideas about methodology"

Abelson/Sussman "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs".

You write code so that people (and you yourself a year from today!) will read and understand it. Coding conventions serve a purpose. Please think before rejecting them.

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